Creation Vs. Evolution & The Puny God

It’s been many years since I’ve given any serious thought to the concept of creation versus the so-called theory of evolution. But lately I have been thinking a lot about that and in particular have been thinking about the conflict that is in the Christian community regarding evolution and creation.

 

I’ve come to the conclusion, after much thought on this subject, that evolution is not a fact, it is not science, it isn’t even a good theory. My personal belief is that it is a fable.

 

Let me explain what I mean by a fable. The fable is a story that is told that is deliberately false or improbable. Its sole purpose is to define a moral concept or an understanding of life using animals as characters.

 

An illustration of a modern-day fable might be a television commercial. Madison Avenue designs TV commercials with a particular emphasis and a particular goal. The whole reason for concocting such a fable in a sixty second segment is to move you towards making a decision to buy a certain product or service. In that 60 seconds your senses are inundated with visual and auditory stimuli that are so orchestrated and designed to give you impressions, emotions and assumptions that will move you to buying the product or service that is being commercialized.

 

In the same way I believe evolution has been concocted as a fable to bring mankind, through the process of education, to believe in a certain mythical and improbable concept designed to eradicate from their consciousness the idea of supreme being who we are accountable to, known as God.

 

I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything written by Darwin. But I believe that if I were to examine his writings and his life there would be an underlying animosity towards the thought of the supreme being who we are accountable to known as God. I doubt very much that Darwin was in any sense a devout Christian.

 

And though Darwinism is self has been discounted by many scientists even scientists who are not believers or Christians, still it is the dominant religious theory of modern-day scientism.

 

When Christians go to arguing with modern-day secularists regarding the theory of evolution or the fable of evolution as I put it. I believe they start from the wrong place they often start from Scripture. The reason I say that is the wrong places is the secularist has no regard for Scripture and indeed from their perspective should not have any regard for it.

 

I do not intend to start with Scripture but I do intend to use logic, critical thinking and so-called common sense to argue that evolution is a fable and the concept of an all knowing, all-powerful, creative being called God is far more logical, probable and necessary than evolution could ever possibly be.

 

Let’s say you accept the so-called theory of evolution as a fact. Then you must admit that Homo sapiens are one of, if not the most highly developed beings on this planet. We, as humans, are highly developed especially when it comes to our intelligence. For instance we may not have the physical prowess of a silverback gorilla, but we can dominate him totally with our technology, because of our superior intellect.

 

So let us look at this highly developed species and consider the scenario of a woman giving birth to a baby. As this woman is giving birth to her child she’s in a very pristine and clean environment. But upon giving birth to the baby, she dies. How likely is it that this child is going to survive? There’s no mother to feed, nurture, or care for the child. How would it feed itself? How would it survive in a hostile environment? How long would it live?

 

It is a well known and an established scientific fact that the human species cannot live without water for more than three or four days. How is a baby born, with out a mother to care for it, without any other attendants to care for it, going to survive when it can’t feed itself or get water? There’s no food, no water, no shelter and no companionship. That last point is also important. It’s been well documented in the annals of psychology that a human left all alone for a protracted period of time has a tendency to become maladjusted and or go insane.

 

Now the story I have just given you is not a fable, it is a scenario that is more than likely going to happen based upon the birth of this hypothetical child and our present understanding of science and physiology.

 

Yet in the fable called evolution, we are expected to believe that a less developed and inferior entity other than Homo sapiens, could somehow be born, nurture itself, develop, mature and eventually replicate. This is preposterous.

 

Now let’s look at the problem of a six day creation. A very famous and well known Christian author and spokesperson has gone on record saying, “ any Christian who believes in a literal six-day creation is stupid.” well let’s look at that for a minute.

 

Since I know this man personally, I know he does believe that God created man. So I have this question. How did Adam appear upon planet Earth? Was he created a fully mature man, and adolescent, or a baby? From the little we do know as revealed in Scripture he was created a fully mature man. This is an assumption on my part based upon the narrative in the book of Genesis. Where you have God giving Adam the job of naming all animals on the planet and also attending to the garden of Eden at some point.

 

If God created Adam is a fully developed man in a very short period of time why is it that God could not create a universe in only six days? After all if Adam was to be have been given a physical exam it would be assumed he’d gone through the normal process of growth and matured until he was physically able to reproduce, except he probably didn’t have a belly button.

 

We’re told in the book of Genesis that God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he both man and woman. One of the essential characteristics of God as revealed in the opening verses of the book of Genesis is that he is a creator. Of all the creatures on God’s planet man is the most creative.

 

We have the ability to create not just things but an entire universe. Don’t jump to a conclusion and think that I’m getting into some kind of woo-woo New Age mysticism, I’m not. Stay with me now, let’s look at this concept of creativity.

 

I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie and I’ve read many of her novels. I particularly like her character, the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Now when you look at the character of Poirot you find that he has certain odd characteristics and mannerisms. In the development of this character you get a sense of his history that he is a mature man, you don’t know when he was born you don’t know particularly who his father and mother were, but you do have a sense of him having lived for many decades. But this character was only developed in the mind of Ms Christie over a short period of time yet it represents a fully mature man who’s lived for many decades and has history.

 

If Agatha Christie can develop a character like Poirot in the post world war setting of Great Britain, a country with centuries of history, and do it in a relatively short period of time. Why is it hard to believe that an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever present God could not create the universe in six days or less. In fact my question would be why did He take six days?

By the way, George Lucas created the entire Star Wars Universe in a short period of time as did C.S. Lewis in his Space Trilogy.

As a child I often created an entire war zone of tanks, artillery, soldiers, and airplanes within minutes. What if one of the plastic soldiers were to suddenly be given consciousness and self awareness? Would it not be most likely that that soldier would assume it had taken years if not decades for the country he finds himself it to have been developed? Yet I did it in seconds and I’m not God, not even close.

 

I would say to this Christian statesman, who thinks that anyone who believes that God created the universe in six literal days is stupid, “you sir have a problem, in the words of the Incredible Hulk your God is a ‘puny god’.”


SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE NOT SEPARATION OF GOD FROM STATE

This post is for all my American friends and family. It is especially pertinent for those who are tiered of the Liberal mantra of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE being used to silence all expression of Christian morality or thought in the public forum. This article is a must read for those who really want to understand. My belief is, an informed people are an empowered people.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

NOT SEPARATION OF GOD FROM STATE

by Fr. Bill McCarthy, MSA

The Founding Fathers

Our Founding Fathers set this great nation of ours upon the twin towers of religion and morality. Our first president, George Washington, said that anyone who would attack these twin towers could not possibly consider themselves to be a loyal American. Not only did they set us up as a nation under God, but a nation founded upon the Judaic-Christian principles summarized in the words, “The laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God,” words that we find in the Declaration of Independence.

Never Intended to Separate State from God or from Religion or from Prayer

The First Amendment never intended to separate Christian principles from government. yet today we so often heart the First Amendment couples with the phrase “separation of church and state.” The First Amendment simply states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Obviously, the words “separation,” “church,” or “state” are not found in the First Amendment; furthermore, that phrase appears in no founding document.

While most recognize the phrase “separation of church and state,” few know its source; but it is important to understand the origins of that phrase. What is the history of the First Amendment?

The process of drafting the First Amendment made the intent of the Founders abundantly clear; for before they approved the final wording, the First Amendment went through nearly a dozen different iterations and extensive discussions.

Those discussions—recorded in the Congressional Records from June 7 through September 25 of 1789—make clear their intent for the First Amendment. By it, the Founders were saying: “We do not want in America what we had in Great Britain: we don’t want one denomination running the nation. We will not all be Catholics, or Anglicans, or any other single denomination. We do want God’s principles, but we don’t want one denomination running the nation.”

This intent was well understood, as evidenced by court rulings after the First Amendment. For example, a 1799 court declared:

“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.”

Again, note the emphasis: “We do want Christian principles—we do want God’s principles—but we don’t want one denomination to run the nation.”

In 1801, the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, heard a rumor that the Congregationalist denomination was about to be made the national denomination. That rumor distressed the Danbury Baptists, as it should have. Consequently, the fired off a litter to President Thomas Jefferson voicing their concern. On January 1, 1802, Jefferson wrote the Danbury Baptists, assuring them that “the First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state.”

His letter explained that they need not fear the establishment of a national denomination—and that while the wall of the First Amendment would protect the church from government control—there always would be open and free religious expression of all orthodox religious practices, for true religious expression of all orthodox religious practices, for true religious duties would never threaten the purpose of government. The government would interfere with a religious activity was a direct menace to the government or to the overall peace and good order of society. (Later Supreme Court identified potential “religious” activities in which the government might interfere: things like human sacrifice, bigamy or polygamy, the advocation of immorality or licentiousness, etc. If any of these activities were to occur in the name of “religion,” then the government would interfere, for these were activities which threaten public peace and safety; but with orthodox religious practices, the government would not interfere).

Today, all that is heard of Jefferson’s letter is the phrase, “a wall of separation between church and state,” without either the context, or the explanation given in the letter, or its application by earlier courts. The clear understanding of the First Amendment for a century-and-a-half was that it prohibited the establishment of a single national denomination. National policies and rulings in that century-and-a-half always reflected that interpretation.

For example, in 1853, a group petitioned Congress to separate Christian principles from government. They desired a so-called “separation of church and state” with chaplains being turned out of the congress, the military, etc. Their petition was referred to the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees, which investigated for almost a year to see if it would be possible to separate Christian principles from government.

Both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees returned with their reports. The following are excerpts from the House report delivered on Mary 27, 1854 (the Senate report was very similar):

“Had the people [the Founding Fathers], during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one sect [denomination]…. In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity…. That was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”

Two months later, the Judiciary Committee made this strong declaration:

“The great, vital, and conservative element in our system [the thing that holds our system together] is the believe of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The Committees explained that they would not separate these principles, for it was these principles and activities which had made us so successful—they had been our foundation, our basis.

During the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s, yet another group which challenged specific Christian principles in government arrived before the Supreme Court. Jefferson’s letter had remained unused for years, for as time had progressed after its use in 1802—and after no national denomination had been established—his letter had fallen into obscurity. But now—75 years later—in the case Reynolds v. United States, the plaintiffs resurrected Jefferson’s letter, hope to use it to their advantage.

In that case, the Court printed an lengthy segment of Jefferson’s letter and then used his letter on “separation of church and state” to again prove that it was permissible to maintain Christian values, principles, and practices in official policy. For the next 15 years during that legal controversy, the Supreme Court utilized Jefferson’s letter to ensure that Christian principles remained a part of government.

Following this controversy, Jefferson’s letter again fell into disuse. It then remained silent for the next 70 years until 1947, when, in Everson v. Board of Education, the Court, for the first time, did not cite Jefferson’s entire letter, but selected only eight words from it. The Court now announced:

“The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ That wall must be kept high and impregnable.”

This was a new philosophy for the Court. Why would the Court take Jefferson’s letter completely out of context and cite only eight of its words? Dr. William James, the Father of modern Psychology—and a strong opponent of religious principles in government and education—perhaps explained the Court’s new strategy when he stated:

“There is nothing so absurd but if you repeat it often enough people will believe it.”

This statement precisely describes the tact utilized by the Court in the years following its 1947 announcement. The Court began regularly to speak of a “separation of church and state,” broadly explaining that, “This is what the Founders wanted—separation of church and state. This is their great intent.” The Court failed to quote the Founders; it just generically asserted that this is what the Founders wanted.

The courts continued on this track so steadily that, in 1958, in a case called Baer v. Kolmorgen, one of the judges was tired of hearing the phrase and wrote a dissent warning that if the court did not stop talking about the “separation of church and state,” people were going to start thinking it was part of the Constitution. That warning was in 1958!

Nevertheless, the Court continued to talk about separation until June 25th, 1962, when, in the case Engle v. Vitale, the Court delivered the first ever ruling which completely separated Christian principles from education.

Secular Humanism

With that case, a whole new trend was established and secular humanism became the religion of America. In 1992 the Supreme Court stated the unthinkable. “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. In 1997, 40 prominent Catholic and Protestant scholars wrote a position paper entitled, “We Hold These Truths,” in which they stated, “This is the very antithesis of the ordered liberty affirmed by the Founders. Liberty in this debased sense is utterly disengaged from the concept of responsibility and community and is pitted against the ‘laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God. Such liberty degenerates into license and throws into question the very possibility of the rule of law itself.



HOW TO MAKE 2016 THE BEST YEAR EVER

BEGIN WITH A PARTY

No, I’m not referring to a New Years eve party. I’m talking of a celebration of your achievements. When we take the time to remember all the things we have achieved, all our wins and then celebrate them we reinforce in ourselves the drive to do more and be more. With that in mind, reflect, what things did you do in the past 12 months that you need to appreciate yourself for and then celebrate, party. List down all of your wins big and small; all of your achievements and even your special moments; then celebrate them. Give yourself a treat, a special night out, a day of play, what ever will resonate with you as a celebration or party.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

With better awareness you can make better choices with better choices you’re bound to see better results.What did you learn in the past 12 months?

What are the 3 best lessons in the arena of business that you learned from the past 12 months?

What were the 3 best life lessons you learned from the past 12 months? What were you doing when you achieved your best results from the past 12 months? What was going on in your life or what were your best practices when you achieved your best results over the past 12 months? What were you thinking? What were you seeing? What were you saying to yourself? Write these down so you can repeat them in this new year.

CLARITY

There is no Mastery without clarity! Clarity will drive away the fog of confusion and eliminate indecision. Clarity comes from daily reinforcing what you want in your life.

What are the five things that must happen between January 1st to December 31st 2015 for you to have the single best year of your life? These are your BIG 5 for the new year. Write these down on an A5 or A6 sheet of paper and stick it on your mirror or on your refrigerator door. Some place where you will see it every day. These must be your focus, your obsession. They will energize you and prevent you from being distracted by trivial things so you can create your single best year ever.

What are your top five values for the next 12 months? Values drive your behavior. If you are not clear on your values you’ll end up subjected to someone else’s values which will create inner conflict. You must be congruent with your values.

What are your goals for the next 12 months? Write down your top 12 goals for the next 12 months. Imagination + Boldness = Mastery. It was Albert Einstein who said that Imagination is more important than knowledge. Therefore when writing your goals dream, stretch, think BIG. Oh, and be sure to date them.

TRANSFORMATION

He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

Take your goals, values and the BIG 5 and transform them into a sequential plan for the next 12 months. This will empower and energize you because you will already know what you will be doing for each month before it ever comes.

VISUALIZATION

Visualization is the single most important activity to drive things from a purely intellectual pursuit to becoming your passion. It is the only way to truly access your subconscious mind which is the driving force of the human personality.

This will allow you to emotionally engage with what your life will look like in the key areas of your life: financial, family, work, career, business, personal, spiritual and social. You must be actively engaged by seeing with clarity every detail you possibly can, with color, sounds, smells, feeling and even taste, if appropriate. Picture what your life will be like once you have achieved all the things you’ve written down.

Do this every morning just after you have gotten up and every evening just before you go to bed. This will energize you mentally, emotionally and spiritually propelling your forward to the best year you have ever had.

Gary J. Eberts

 


The Principle of PASSIONATE VISION

The Principle of PASSIONATE VISION

Colossians 1:27 For to them God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Passionate vision necessitates enthusiasm whiuch is defined as: intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval : her energy and enthusiasm for life | few expressed enthusiasm about the current leaders.

• a thing that arouses such feelings : the three enthusiasms of his life were politics, religion, and books.

The etymology of the word enthusiasm shows us that the word originated in the Greek language and is a compound of two Greek words, En= in and Theos=God. So it comes from the concept of being indwelt by God. Or inspired by God.

The Need For Vision

Prov 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

Vision is the one common quality that separates leaders from non-leaders. Leaders have a clear picture of the type of future they want to construct, and they have the skill to convey this vision to others in an enthusiastic, passionate and effective way.

People may work consistently for a wage, but they will achieve at high levels only when they are motivated by a vision that is communicated with passion and enthusiasm.

The preparation and verbalization of vision is a key requirement of leadership. This requires great enthusiasm regarding the vision.

Leaders must have the ability to visualize, to see the big picture and then to enthusiastically and passionately stimulate others to work together to make it a fact. The true leader regards leadership as a means he or she can use to bring about a outcome that is substantial and more significant than any single person could accomplish.

You take the position as the leader when you define an outcome, make a plan, and then plunge your being into making it a reality. You become a leader when you produce an electrifying enthusiastic vision for yourself and others. You are a leader when you know precisely where you want to go, why you want to get there, and what you must to do to accomplish it.

Leaders can define simply to others what it is they are laboring to realize, why they are trying to achieve it, and how they will bring it about. They need to get results and they are impatient with any kind of setbacks. They are enthused about what they are doing, and they get other people enthused as well.

Leaders have goals, plans, and strategies that they are working on every day. They are in a hurry. They have much to do and they think that they always have too little time. Perhaps the most important part of enthusiastic leader is his accuracy. The leader has clear vision, not foggy, clear principles, a clear purpose, and clear, written goals, plans, and strategies for his or her church or ministry.

Habakkuk 2:2

“…Write the vision, and make it plain on the tablets, that he who reads it may run.”

True leaders desire to lead, to be in command, to be credible, to create and make things happen. They are willing to prevail over the risks and the self-denial that is needed to make a authentic difference in their world. They are inspired and they inspire others. Their enthusiasm and passion is contagious.

Determining clear goals for yourself and for your team propels you upward in leadership. It thrusts you to the front of the line. To be a leader, you must be leading others in a specific direction toward a specific goal for the accomplishment of a specific result. The clearer you are about your vision, your principles, your purpose, and your goals, the more enthusiastic you will be and you will lead, and inspire others.

“One man with passion is equal to or better than one hundred with just a good idea.”

Action Steps:

  1. Determine a clear vision for yourself and your church or ministry. Where do you want to be in three to five years? State it clearly. Write it down. Share it with others. The clearer and more detail you are about your future vision for yourself and your ministry, the more enthusiastic and passionate you will be about it and the more you will be able to achieve.

  2. Decide what it is that you truly want to do with your life. This is the most important concept in leadership. If you had no limits of time, money, and resources, what would you be the most enthused about doing in your own life and your church or ministry? What are you passionate about? What would you be willing to do even if no body paid you to do it. Begin today to visualize how you would accomplish it, and then take some action on it today. Then get excited, enthusiastic and passionate about it.


The Principle of Boldness

The Principle of Boldness

 Humility is a virtue; timidity is an illness.”   (Jim Rohn)

Pro 28:1 “… the righteous are bold as a lion. “

 Great Leaders have the boldness to make decisions and to take action even if they are not 100% certain they will succeed. Leadership demands decisiveness. Your capacity to move, to step out in faith, even when there might be the risk of loss or failure, is a typical characteristic of true leadership. Leadership is not the absence of fear. Leadership is the ability to subdue fear, to even use fear as a motive to take action. A leader must be bold, therefore a leader must be decisive. Many great leaders have learned to link fear with the necessity of taking action. So every time fear shows its ugly face they step forward and act.

 Everyone experiences fear; leaders are clearly those who master their fears and take action in spite of their fears. As one author has put it you “…do it afraid.” You must develop the habit of boldness. This is done by acting boldly whenever boldness is needed. When fear rises its ugly head, take action. Thoughtful, focused, self-disciplined action.

 People tend to avoid pain and move towards pleasure or comfort. Because of this we tend to avoid or to back away from the things we fear. But when you force yourself to resist this inborn tendency and do the opposite, when you move toward the thing you fear, your fear withers and loses its control over you.You will either control fear or fear will control you.

 “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”   – Babe Ruth, baseball player

 Two of the greatest hindrances to moving ahead in life are the fear of failure and the fear of what other people think. Some people would advocate to totally get rid of the fear of failure. I don’t. The reason why is a little bit of this fear under your control can keep you from doing some very stupid and or dangerous things with your life  your business and/or ministry. The key is that it must be under your control. Also, you must understand this. Every great accomplishment is preceded by multiple failures and by many criticisms. In fact, if you meet someone who claims that they have never failed in their personal, spiritual or business life, quickly look for an exit, you are dealing with a thief and a liar. Experience is born of failures and the lessons you learn from these failures will empower you to succeed. 

 Always remember that failure is a negative learning event. It is not a person. You are not a failure, you have experienced failure. If you think of failure in this way you will no longer be afraid of or controlled by it.

 Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man bringeth a snare…”

 Secondly, your ability to rise above the criticisms and disapproval of others will bring you to the place where you can truly enjoy the success you achieve at a very deep level.

Develop the habit of dealing with your fears. Don’t hide from them, attack them. If there is anything in your life that causes you apprehension, treat it as a personal challenge and decide to confront it now. Don’t put it off, “Do it afraid…”

 2Tim 1:7“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. “

 Understand this, your life will be seasoned with many complications, distress, disappointments, adversities, and hindrances that might easily discourage you and cause you to want to quit. Don’t quit! Get over it! This is the real deal, this is life.Don’t lay in your pity pool waiting for someone to join you. Get up, dry yourself off and ask yourself this question. What is the worst thing that could happen? Chances are that it would just be another failed attempt. But, would that be the end of your world? Would you die from it? Most likely, no. So, ask yourself this question, “What have I learned from this negative result?” Then go ahead make a new choice and take action, make the needed adjustments and try again.

 Act 14:22 “confirming the souls of the disciples, calling on them to continue in the faith and that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God.”

 The mark of a great leader, is never allowing himself or herself the self-indulgence of depression or self-pity. The leader does not grumble, make excuses, or wish that somehow events could be effortless or better than they are. Great leaders don’t live in the lala land of “I wish things were easier.” They live in the real world and by “Faith” make the choices that will move them closer to their desired outcomes.

 Decide today to develop the habit of boldness by acting boldly, by doing the things afraid, and by dealing boldly and genuinely with the troublesome people and circumstances of your life. Each time you do this you will gain courage and strength to meet the challenges that lay ahead of you.

 Action Steps:

 1. What actions would you take in your ministry if you knew that failure was impossible? What goals would you set if you knew you could not fail? Whatever the answers to these questions are, begin taking action today as though this was reality and your success is just ahead.

 2. What are some specific fear or fears in your life, such as beginning a new project or doing something in a totally different way then anyone else. Today, whatever it is, talk to yourself, and tell yourself the truth about this fear. Quote the Scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7 and then take the action needed to deal with this fear and conquer it.


The Principle of Genuineness

The Principle of Genuineness

Job 20:5: That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Mark 7:6: He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

Jesus Christ reserved his harshest criticism for those who were not genuine, but were hypocrites. The power and willingness to be absolutely genuine in your life and ministry are one of the most important qualities of a great leadership. The measure of how genuine you really are will be shown by your resolve to deal with people and life in general by being absolutely genuine and real.

You must also live your life by looking at things as they are and not living in denial. You must admit that things are the way they are only don’t make them worse than they are. I’m a firm believer in thinking and speaking positively. But denying reality is not positive, it is noxious. It keeps you from being able to deal with the issues of life as they are.

To do that you must concentrate on getting data, get the facts. Facts don’t lie. The more solid data or facts you gather, the better will be the picture of life as it truly is. The quality of your decisions will be largely determined by the quality of the information on which those decisions are based. To gather data you must ask the right questions. To get data and information you must ask “what” type questions. Don’t ask “why” type questions if your after information. The time to ask “why” type questions is when you’re wanting to move somebody to make a decision, or take action. But if you ask a “why” type of question when you’re looking for information you will close down communication. That is because a “why” type question is the moral equivalent to pushing someone, or pressuring someone. The normal response to this type of action is resistance, evasion or out and out lies.

To get the facts, to get data you need to ask “what” type questions. What happened? What was said? What did they do? What was your response? What results did you get? What did you do? Etc.

This is even true when you are dealing with yourself.  Don’t ask yourself “How can I do this…” If you knew how you’d be doing it. Even here a “what” type question is more effective. Phrase it like this, “If I were to do or accomplish “X” what would I do?”

As a musician and having a strong motivational gift of a teacher I am often asked by people for advice on learning to play a certain instrument in some particular style e.g. jazz or rock. What I tell every aspiring musician is this. Listen to the pros playing, what it is you want to learn. Listen only for your instrument e.g. drums, guitar, bass etc. Then ask yourself this question, “If I were going to play that, rift, song, line etc. what would I do to get it to sound like that?” This releases the creativity in you to solve problems and develop new ways of doing things.

Once you’ve gotten it down and you’ve matched the pro ask yourself a new question “What can I do to enhance, improve on or spice this up?

As you gather information and you get facts and data you must then discipline yourself to remain objective, and to avoid assumptions. Assumptions are the lowest form of knowledge. And when you begin to operate on assumptions you are not operating on truth but fantasy. Look for the truth above all, rather than trying to strengthen or excuse a position you may already hold. An exercise you might try is this. Pretend that you’re looking at somebody else’s ministry or somebody else’s church or someone elses business and you’ve been asked to counsel and speak into their situation. Standing back from the situation looking at it from the outside, will give you a more honest and factual view of what really is happening and what the facts really are.

Truly mature people are confident enough in themselves and they are extremely honest and objective about who they are . They have no illusions. They are not insecure and do not feel compelled to explain themselves to others. They know who they are and they accept themselves, with out having to hide anything or pretend to be something or someone else. They are “genuine, they are authentic.”

Genuine people know they are not perfect and they don’t try to be. They can admit their weaknesses are willing to change their behavior to correct them. They don’t require perfection of themselves and as a result don’t feel guilty when they make mistakes. Because of this they don’t demand perfection of others and are more gracious in their interpersonal dealings with subordinates. The fact is that most people, including very successful people, often have weaknesses as well as strengths. And, they make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process.

To be genuine you will need to evaluate yourself realistically. What are your greatest strengths? What are your areas of weakness? Your strengths, most likely are what have gotten you to where you are today. Your weaknesses are like the emergency brake that is left on, and they will regulate the ease that you move ahead in your life ,business or ministry. In what areas could your weaknesses be holding you back or limiting the effectiveness of your life, business or ministry? What action can you take to change that?

Your weaknesses will set the limits of where you can use all of your strengths. The more genuine you are and authentic you are with yourself, the more effective you will be in contending with the nonstop changing settings of life.

What are the strengths and weaknesses in your life today? Ask questions continually, of yourself and everyone else. This will give you a better picture of things as they are. Read, study, attend courses, and get other people’s viewpoints to get greater clarity of how things really are.

When you are willing to face the weaknesses and imperfections in your life, your church, your business or your ministry, whatever they might be, then you can be genuine and then you can authoritatively and effectively pray for guidance to do something about them. Then do it! TAKE ACTION!

If you don’t like the way things are, you have the God given freedom and ability to make a new choice. Imagine how you would like things to be and then begin creating the reality you envision. Be future focused rather than the past bound. Focus on the solutions rather than the problems. Decide where you are going rather than fussing over where you came from. (Phil 3:13 ”this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”)

Stop granting yourself the self-indulgence of regret about things that have already happened and that cannot be changed. Something that has already happened is a fact. It is a part of your past reality. Many times the only thing that you can do about a fact is to control your perception of it, let be something you learn from not something you constantly regret. The way you respond to an unalterable state of affairs will often influence your effectiveness in the now and success in the future

One method I have found that is most workable for us is what we call our Monday morning Debrief. This involves a meeting of all the key people who are involved in the Sunday service. The head usher, my wife, all pastoral staff, the worship leader and the sound crew. Every Monday morning we go over the Sunday Service that we had the day before. We analyze and critique everything, including my sermon and its delivery.

Our goal is to improve and the only way we can do that is to be brutally honest and genuine with ourselves about how things went and what needs to be improved. This keeps us moving ahead and doing it with genuineness.

You must take the responsibility to do what is needed to solve the problem or change the situation. Never allow yourself to wish, hope, or trust that someone else will do it for you. You are a leader not a victim. You are in charge. Deal with your world as it is, and how you are, only then can you do what is needed to make it how you would like it to be and how you would like to be.

ACTION

“Nothing happens until something moves.” (Book by Robert Ringer)

Action Steps:

1. Examine your strengths and major weaknesses. Then list them down. What are the most vital skills you need to strengthen or change. What is your most ineffective personal quality? What is your weakest essential skill? Describe them clearly and then develop a plan to change them.

2. Identify and examine the genuineness of your church or ministry, your services, and your methods of operation. What are the weaknesses or areas that need improvement in your ministry? Whatever they may be, take some specific action today to correct the weaknesses and to make the most of your strengths. Become a genuine minister of life instead of a wanna-be or a hypocrite.

For more articles of this type click here.


TWELVE FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP

TWELVE FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP

How to lead in life!

Hi, for those of you who are new to my blog this is the introduction to a book I wrote back in 2005 and I am making it available for free to all who become regulars on this blog. I will eventually have a log in button on this Blog so I can send you updates or information for other free training materials.  Please realize this book was developed for training leaders primarily in the Christian community and particularly for those in ministry.  If this offends you I am sorry, but I hope you can see the value of using it in you personal life or business regardless of your belief system. 

Introduction

Just as any building needs a sound foundation to build upon so leadership needs a foundation upon which to build and grow. Leadership is one of the most important components in determining ministry success or failure in this chaotic, sin-sick world we are called to minister to. Excellence of leadership is most often what determines the strength or weakness of a church or ministry. The presence of God and a commitment to Biblical principles are absolute essentials, but many problems can be traced, not to these two vital components, but rather, to a lack in understanding the foundational principles of leadership. The ability to provide the required leadership when and where needed is the key to mastery in all ministry enterprises. And there has never been a more widespread need or demand for leaders of excellence, at all levels, than there is now.

Leadership and the making of leaders as well as the qualities of good leaders is a subject that has been studied for centuries. Furthermore there have been thousands of books, and articles, on leadership and leaders, each contributing to our overall understanding and insight of what it takes to become a great leader.

One of the cardinal truths that have come to the forefront is, that contrary to popular belief, leaders are made, not born. Yes there are those rare individuals that seem to have come into this world with all the talents and abilities that leaders need in their lives, but they are few and far between. Most leaders are just average men and women who take the challenge to step forward and accept the responsibility and call of leadership with all it involves.

Some people view themselves as “not the leader type.” But I believe that his is a false concept based on an incorrect idea of what leadership is. Let me explain. If you and say, a hundred other adults are siting in a theater that you have not been in before watching a movie. Suddenly you’re  alerted to the fact that there is a fire that has broken out blocking the way you came in. You all begin to panic, because you are unfamiliar with the place, you don’t know where to go. Then a young girl of about 11 stands on a chair and begins to screen out, “Follow me I know where the exit is!”  This young girl has just become the leader of 100 adults.

Why is this significant, because anyone can become a leader in certain circumstances if they have three things operative in their life. 1. The know where they are going. (the way out)  2. They know why they are going. (to escape the fire)  3. They step up and take the lead.

Now being a leader in life has to have these elements, but to be a consistent leader in life there are other qualities needed that we will examine in this book.

Those who are fortunate enough to have someone to mentor them and also provide a model to follow usually succeed early on in their leadership life. Those who don’t usually struggle with the challenges of leadership until they are able to gain the expertise needed to function successfully. Others may quit due to frustration and failure turning to some other path in life or wrongly concluding they just aren’t cut out to be a leader.

There has never been a time in history where a person can obtain more input from top level leaders than now. The internet is a gold mine of leadership information that can help you find a mentor or mentors to help train you in what is working in their lives.

The life of Gideon

Judges 6:11-14 Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Oprahwhich belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

12. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”

13. Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

  1. The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”

Here we see a man who is hiding, beating out wheat so the Midianites won’t get it. He is not someone you would think of as a “leader” type. But he was God’s choice and who God chooses He gives the grace to achieve what He desires.

Now you don’t need to have a visitation from an angel of God to become a great leader. So how do you become a leader? You become a leader in your ministry and in the world around you by stepping forward to take the challenge before you and identifying and practicing the traits and behaviors of great leaders. It is wonderful if you have a mentor who you can model your leadership after.

But even if you don’t sometimes a negative model is as good if not better then a positive one. When you have suffered under an incompetent or insecure leader you don’t soon forget it, the lessons learned are burned into your soul. Additionally, you usually can see clearly what you don’t like about a certain leadership style and begin to make adjustments in your own life to insure you don’t copy the same traits. Leadership ability is obtained by practice over time, but you must be careful to do it right because, practice does not make perfect, “Practice makes permanent.”

It is wonderful to be a great leader. As a leader, you can acquire the admiration, honor, and the encouragement of the people around you. You possess a greater sense of self control and inner mastery in every part of your life. And best of all you get to see the lives of people change because of the influence of your life through and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The more you conduct yourself like a great leader, the more optimistic you become. You have a greater sense of personal worth, self-respect, satisfaction, and contentment. You have a sense of being more effective and resourceful and more capable of getting things accomplished with and through other people. You make decisions quicker and with less mistakes and you become more competent in making positive changes in your ministry, your personal life, and even in your family. Leadership doesn’t happen instantly. Instead it grows by degrees.

As you begin to think and act the way great leaders do you will apply the Principles of Leadership to your life and ministry. This will bring you into contact with other great leaders. Who you can learn from. As the Bible declares, “Iron sharpens iron.” (Proverbs 27:17) Leaders are attracted to people who are like them and they attract to themselves people who are like them.

The more you work the principles of leadership in the small matters of life, then more opportunities to lead in other areas will come your way.

Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

As you fulfill your obligations with excellence today, the greater the assignments that will be given to you in the future. Your leadership future is truly in your hands.

The Principles of Leadership have been recognized and studied over and over for hundreds of years. They have been taught in military schools, colleges, universities, business schools and seminars around the world. However, there has generally been an absence of concentration on this subject within the Church and Christian organizations. This is particularly true in the developing nations of the world. I hope, with this little book, to begin to change that situation to some degree.

This has just been the introdution to “Twelve Foundation Principles of Leadership”

In the next Blog I will introduce you to the Principle of Genuiness